ISLAMABAD - Pakistan Peoples’ Party believes that expatriate Pakistanis should not only have the right to vote but also be eligible for being a member of the Parliament.

Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf expressed these views while talking to a delegation led by Chaudhry Javed Iqbal and comprising expatriate Pakistanis based in London who called on him at the Prime Minister’s House Saturday evening.

The Prime Minister said that since granting right of representation to expatriate Pakistanis, who hold dual nationalities, involves an amendment in Constitution, Pakistan Peoples’ Party could not bring about the amendment as it does not have the required numerical strength in the Parliament.

The Prime Minister further said that the government is still striving to bring about a consensus so that the Constitution can be amended and expatriate Pakistanis given the right to contest elections. Pakistan Peoples’ Party needs to convince its coalition partners who, while fully being supportive and cognizant of the role of Pakistanis abroad for progress and development of the country, have somehow shown reservations to amend the Constitution.

The Prime Minister said that Pakistanis abroad sent their hard earned money to Pakistan because of their love for their country of origin.

The Prime Minister said that remittances being sent by expatriates are on the rise. This, he said, is very helpful in stabilizing the economy.

The Prime Minister said, “We have braced many challenges in the last four and half years and are now completing our tenure and getting reading for the next elections.”

Talking of inflation in the country, the Prime Minister said that the increase in the prices of oil in the international market is one of the main reasons of rising prices in the country.

The Prime Minister said that Pakistan Peoples’ Party and its coalition partners are committed to a transparent, free and impartial election in the country. In this regard, he alluded to the consensual election of Chief Election Commissioner.

He also expressed the hope that the remaining phases in the run-up to elections shall also be concluded amicably, in the same spirit.

The Prime Minister said that uncertainty is damaging for the country and observed that while taking decisions we need to bear in mind its implications for the stability in the country.

The Prime Minister said that in past four and half years Pakistan had faced floods, terrorism and international economic crunch because of slow down in the global economy.

Yet, we have move forward and have been able to make achievements like passage of 18th Amendment, granting more political autonomy to the provinces and transfer of resources to them.

The members of the delegation led by Chaudhry Javed Iqbal thanked the Prime Minister for sparing time to meet them and assured him of all their cooperation.